Greece dismisses chairman of privatisation agency

Greece dismisses chairman of privatisation agencyThe authorities in Greece have announced its decision to dismiss the chairman of its privatisation agency, Mr. Stelios Stavridis after reportrs showed that he travelled on a plane belonging to a businessman who bought gambling firm Opap from the government.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras asked the chairman of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) to submit his resignation over the matter. He had joined the company four months earlier but was facing criticism in the country over the slow pace of privatisation in the troubled southern European economy. The government only finalised the sale of Opap in the previous week.

Greek and eastern European investors paid about 650 million euros for the government's 33 per cent stake in the company. The investors include Greek shipowner Dimitris Melissanidis, whose plane was used by Mr. Stavridis. Mr Stavridis was credited with the successful transformation of the Athens Water Board.

The financial target for the sale of the government assets during the year has been set at 2.6 billion euros but estimates shows that the final figure will be 1 billion euros short of the target.